Good Morning… Good Morning… Good Morning… As winter has finally melted away and the warm weather draws us outdoors to finally move around after the cold and short day light hours … it’s time we get moving. I have a very special story to share with you today about two friends who are doing more than just moving around. These ladies are running and together they have created a massive tribe of followers to spread the good news of running and health. You will want to for sure connect with them by “LIKING” their Face book page here and checking out their super cool website and ordering some of their awesome shirts! I am always so motivated to read stories of women doing such amazing things to promote health and sport. It’s sad in America today as well as many developed countries that obesity is running wild not only in adults but in children and teens as well. I can guarantee you that after reading this story you are going to be inspired and ready to take the best care of yourself and have fun doing it!!! So grab your cup of coffee, sit back and enjoy…. And afterwards lace up your shoes, grab a friend and get out the door!!! This morning I introduce to you Hailey and Courtney with RUN Like A GIRL!!!
Joanna: What inspired you to create RUN Like A GIRL?
Hailey and Courtney: It was actually Courtney's idea originally to start a Facebook page where we could share our healthy recipes and our workouts. We wanted to connect to other like-minded people through our passion for health and fitness, but in a different way. We want to show people that being healthy encompasses the mind, body and soul. It is not about how you look, it is about how you feel, and your commitment to becoming the healthiest version of you. The name run like a girl just sort of happened! The intention of the name is to empower women to run, but it is also to encompass everyone. We don't mean literally run like a girl, which can be taken in a negative connotation. We mean run strong, run fierce, run far, run fast, run slow, run short, just run!
Joanna: Could you guys share with us some background info about your friendship and life?
Hailey and Courtney: We actually went to high school together but were never friends. Courtney got more seriously into running before I (Hailey) did. My brother saw some of her running pictures on Facebook and told me to add her as a friend so I could have a running partner. We chatted on Facebook for about a year before actually meeting at a boot camp class! The rest is history! I think we both felt a pretty strong connection right off the bat! We have been on lots of hiking adventures, down to Seattle to do Tough Mudder, we have been back country skiing/boarding in Clearwater BC, and we have participated in races together. We are both vegetarians, and 99% of the time we are both wearing work out/running gear of some sort!!!
Hailey: I'll be the first to admit, fitness hasn't always been a part of my life. I have never been overweight, but I can definitely say I was lazy. I was the type of girl you'd find in gym class with sweat pants and a baggy t-shirt on, looking less than impressed. My record for the 2400m was over 18 minutes, embarrassing.
It all changed when I went to Europe with Girl Guides between grade 11 and 12. Our tour leader was an awesome girl with infectious energy. She told me she ran every morning before work, and that I should join her. So I did. Every morning of the tour, I ran with her, through the streets of Rome, Paris, Nice, and so on. It was hard. It sucked. I hated running. But I was determined. When I got home from Europe, I was hooked. I started running on my own, and going to the gym. And I started hiking. For me, hiking was a way I could escape everything. It started with just short, 1-2 hour hikes, and then slowly, I started tackling full day hikes. My brother and I became partners in crime, doing ridiculous distances in a day, on very little sleep. I didn't stop there. Through my job at "Atmosphere" (an outdoor lifestyle store), I joined a team and participated in the MIND OVER MOUNTAIN ADVENTURE RACE. Needless to say, I bit off way more than I could chew. I had never even been on a mountain bike, let alone ran more than a 5k. But there I was, in the middle of a 60k, 8 hour endurance race and despite the pain and suffering, I was sold. This is what I wanted to do. Since then, I have participated in 5 MOMARs, 4 half marathons, one 30k (which I came 2nd in my age category and 7th female overall), and 1 full marathon. I only run trails, and refuse to run anything else. Trail running is a dynamic experience that is both mentally and physically challenging.
On top of my addiction to running, I am pursuing the art of mountaineering, with a goal to "climb every mountain." I also am a passionate skier and cross country mountain biker. I would also love to get into whitewater kayaking and paragliding. One day. I just finished my Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree... so the world is my oyster. If I'm not hitting the local trails in my neighborhood, I am probably running up a trail designated for hiking, or tackling a hike in a day that's meant to be an overnighter.
Finding a friend in Courtney finally allowed me to enjoy my crazy activities with someone just as crazy as me. I can't wait to see what adventures we experience together!
I am passionate about fitness and health, and I hope to inspire others to incorporate it into their lives too.
Courtney: I will never forget the day that I discovered I was meant for long distance running five years ago. I was going out for one of my usual thirty minute jogs, which were part of my soccer training. For some reason, I didn't wear a watch for this run: I just ran. After what seemed like the usual thirty minutes, I looped around back to my house to grab a drink of water. I realized I had been running for two hours. That's crazy, I thought, I'm not even tired. My legs just wanted to keep going and going so I grabbed a drink and went out for more. Ever since that summer day in 2008, my short runs became 1:30 hour runs, and I went on to do two half marathons and then my first full marathon in 2010. I have done nine more half marathons since then and one and a half Tough Mudders.
I have been active all of my life--playing soccer, baseball, and going to the gym--but nothing has ever felt more incredible--more me--then when I am running. Running is who and what I am. Running is my escape from the real world; I'm flying outside, seeing the world. I have been kicked down and struggled through some lovely knee injuries and a broken left foot. Every time I've had an injury the doctors have told me to stop running, “Your body is not meant for running” they say. To be honest, I listened to them once and I was miserable. I didn't know how to live life without running. So back to it I went. I've done everything--from physio to massage therapy, and even acupuncture is part of my weekly routine--to keep my legs geared up but from my experience, nothing can keep you going unless the passion and determination comes from your heart. For me, life is about doing and achieving the impossible. It takes being different-- seeing the world differently than everyone else. While others are sleeping at 5:00 am, I am out running. While others are enjoying their Sunday morning coffees and newspaper, I am out running, doing a workout or climbing something. It's what I live for: early mornings and seeing the world.
I have recently transferred from road running to trail running thanks to Hailey. Trails have given something to me that roads never did: hills, rocks, and mud and a place that offers peace, nature. I am still waiting to complete my first trail race, which will be this summer the Whitehorse Full Trail Marathon and the Squamish Ultra 50k race. I have also started long hiking adventures with Hailey to see some of the most amazing places in Canada.
When I am not running, road biking, hiking, or working out, you can find me in my art studio creating something. I am currently in my fifth year working towards my Fine Arts Degree. My two great passions in life are art and fitness--oh, and traveling, so there's three.
My goal is to inspire other people with what I do. Change lives and make a difference: indent the world in some way.
Fitness and health in my life are not everyday choices--they are part of a lifestyle. There is no other option; therefore, this is not a choice. It's just how I live. Don't have a Plan B because it distracts from Plan A. Just do Plan A.
Joanna: So it sounds like you both are running non stop! How often do you ladies run?
Hailey and Courtney: 5 days a week, most weeks. Unless we have a race coming up, then we taper the week before. On non-running days and well even some running days we also do workouts that we film and post for others to do. A lot of plyometric and cross fit style workouts!
Joanna: What's your favorite race distance?
Hailey: I really like the half marathon, or 30km. It is still long enough to really push your endurance, but you can add speed to it as well.
Courtney: My favorite race distance is either a 23k or a full marathon. I love 23k it’s an in between type of distance that my body loves. I usually don’t even feel warmed up until after 10k so another 13k is a great distance. Anything longer then 23k well my body is ready to push on for a full 42.2k.
Joanna: Are you currently training for any specific races?
Hailey and Courtney: We are both training for the Whitehorse Marathon and the Squamish 50km (our first ultra-marathon!)
Joanna: What do you hope to accomplish through run like a girl?
Hailey and Courtney: We are already accomplishing what we had hoped too. We have created a community full of likeminded people. Every day we are inspired by people’s stories, and they are inspired by us. We want to continue to grow and share our stories and inspire people to encompass a healthy life style! We want to take Run Like A Girl, or Run Like A Girl’s concept around the world. Our ultimate dream in to travel the world helping, teaching, and inspiring the dreams of others. We also hope to one day have a cook book/recipe book!
Joanna: What advice do you have for women wanting to start running?
Hailey and Courtney: At first it is HARD! There is such a love hate relationship with running. There will always be good runs and less than stellar runs, but it is important to keep going! I would say do not be so hard on yourself when you first start running. Do not ever compare yourself to other people’s distances or speed. Running is your journey. And if just beginning or even contemplating the idea of starting to run… just put on your running shoes and go outside, take that first step. Start with short intervals run 1 minute walk 1 minute, run 3 min walk 1 min and so on. It only gets better from there!
Joanna: What's your favorite race?
Hailey: My favorite race is the MIND OVER MOUNTAIN ADVENTURE RACE (MOMAR) which is a 60km race that includes kayaking, mountain biking, trail running, and orienteering. It is such an awesome test of your endurance both physically and mentally. (Joanna: This is new to me and I can’t wait to try!)
Courtney: My favorite race so far is the BMO Vancouver Marathon, running through the streets of downtown Vancouver and through Stanley Park. This was my first marathon race and I think that’s why the glory of it resides in my heart so strongly. Ever since this race in 2010 I see the city in a different way. However, I predict that I will become more attached to races such as the Spartan Beast race and Tough Mudder because after completing a Tough Mudder in Whistler this past June, the dynamic physical demand was really great and something different than just running. (Joanna: Tough Mudder races sound awesome... way to go Courtney and Hailey.. you ladies ROCK!!!)
Joanna: How can WE connect with Run Like A GIRL???
People can follow us on our Facebook page RUN Like A Girl, our website www.runlikeagirlbc.com, and our You Tube channel by typing in Run Like A Girl Workouts on YouTube.
Joanna: What an amazing story of friendship and just honest self awareness and the pursuit of happiness. I love this quote from Courtney and Hailey “We believe that healthy and happy comes right from the heart. It’s not about what you look like; it’s not about looking like the magazine models it’s about an energy that you feel from within yourself. We focus on the idea of being only ourselves and others being only themselves. There is a greater meaning to our existence here in this world, we intend on discovering and living it with a positive energy that radiates to other people.
We want to leave our readers with, “do more of what makes you happy.” And a quote, “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them” – Walt Disney”
With 14,207 Likes on Facebook as of this morning we can see that RUN Like A GIRL is changing the world by living their dream and inspiring others to do the same. So what dream are you holding inside that you need to express to the world? What healthy activity do you enjoy that you can start TODAY to get in your best shape to feel great overall? Like Hailey and Courtney said “It’s not about how you look, it’s about how you feel.”So be courageous and take the first step today. I believe in YOU. We as a community believe in you!!! So run hard, strong and wise after your dreams today and leave us a comment below about what it is you have been putting off but have decided to start TODAY!
Have an Awesome Weekend
I just earned my shower.... how about you??? Thanks for sharing RUN Like A GIRL:) aWESOME wORKOUT
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